Local voices must be heard

Local voices must be heard

For months, people in our community warned that Dignity Health is trying to be one of the "Walmarts" in size in the health care industry, and that it cared more about the chain's own finances than about health care and jobs at Ashland Community Hospital.

The fact that they walked away after six months of negotiations over the financial terms just proves it.

Look at what Dignity demanded:

No fixed time before laying off anyone they wanted.

No fixed time before cutting any service that wasn't profitable enough.

The right to cut employees' pay, hours, health coverage or retirement benefits.

The right to sell or close the hospital.

And to override Oregon laws that protect the rights of doctors and patients.

I was there at the Oct. 16 Ashland City Council meeting when people from the community signed up to speak on this. They were there to ask the council to change these provisions before approving a Dignity agreement. I was stunned that the council chose by 5 to 1 not to even hear what these people had to say.

Let's hope that whatever happens next protects employees and patients, and that community voices aren't shut out again.

Michelle Glass


Don't salt the roads

Recently it has been reported that the Oregon Department of Transportation has made the decision to start dumping salt on our highways. Many of us here in the Rogue Valley have worked hard and long to further the improvement of our environment in general, and the health of Bear Creek and its tributaries specifically. All those truckloads of salt will make their way into Bear Creek.

I am a local auto mechanic, and I have seen the devastation salt does to cars from areas where they use it. I can only imagine what it will do to the quality of Bear Creek. And for what?

I live on and commute to the Mt. Ashland Ski Road, and every rarely have a problem doing so. There is no problem that justifies this kind of threat to the water quality.

ODOT likes to operate high and mighty without consulting others. Please lend your voice and rise up against them.

Greg Bailey


Dignity pullout not surprising

I'm not surprised Dignity pulled their offer to merge with Ashland Community Hospital off the table. With weak editorial support from your paper and unending letters published from memers of the community pushing their myopic political agendas, who can blame Dignity?

Let's just hpe all those who objected to the merger are happy with themselves. They still won't be able to get abortions at ACH, and end of life discussions still won't happen there, but their political zealotry may mean that there won't be a hospital at all. I hope they are happy with what they have achieved. The community is all the worse for what they did.

Ellie McKeon